Be it movies, songs, games, books, or software, some of us like to hoard every interesting piece of content on the internet and save it on our local memory. There are good reasons for doing so, because not everyone might have access to fast internet connectivity or free unlimited bandwidth all the time. Here’s our list for some of the best tips and tricks to help you easily download all your favourite content from the internet.
Most online video sites operate on streaming algorithms, which means the videos are many a time not available for random access from disk or memory. These websites offer ads and will control when/how you watch their content. Although, downloading videos from these services is against their terms of service, there are many ways you can do so, and as long as you’re not re-uploading someone else’s work or taking self-credit, it should probably be in that warm and fuzzy grey area.
On a side note, if it is perfectly legal to record TV shows on a pen drive, how should this be any different?
Download YouTube videos/audio
If you watch YouTube on your smartphone and you have the app, Google already allows you to save your videos for offline viewing. In the app, when playing any video, you will see a download icon on the right, below the video description. Save any videos you want by simply tapping on the download icon, choosing your desired quality and selecting ‘OK’.
If you are on a desktop or mobile and you’re streaming YouTube from your web browser, there are many interesting ways on how you can download videos or extract just the audio(Mp3) and save them to your local drive/memory. The simplest and coolest way you can do so, is by simply removing three letters from the video URL. On your web browser, play the particular YouTube video you want to download. On the video URL, (which will probably look something like “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWraYkX3KlI”) remove the letters ‘ube’ from ‘youtube’ and hit ‘Enter’. It’ll take you to a new website called Yout.com and you can download any videos or just the audio as an mp3 file from YouTube.
Download Facebook images/videos
Similar to YouTube, on mobile, the Facebook app also has the feature that allows users to save videos for offline viewing. Play that video you want to download and select the three-dot menu. From the list of options, select ‘Download’.
However, if you might be using Facebook from your web browser, or on a desktop, or you simply want to download the video file, you can easily do so by following these steps – First, determine if the video is hosted by Facebook and if it is, ‘Right-click’ on the video and select ‘Copy link address’. Open a new tab and search for ‘downvids.net’. Paste the video link, select the video format and hit download. This site works for many other popular websites including YouTube.
Download Instagram images/videos
There are plenty of apps that allows you to download Instagram images and videos to your smartphones but the ones we recommend are ‘Video Downloader for Instagram’ by InShot Inc. for Android and InstaTV for iOS. They are both simple, hassle-free applications that do exactly what is required.
Download videos with DreDown
If you’re on a computer, DreDown.com is a website where you can download videos from any social websites for free. All you need is the video’s URL, paste it on their site and DreDown!. Currently, the website supports videos from YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Keek, Vevo, Vk, Tumblr, Flickr, RuTube, Howcast and MetaCafe with Mp3 downloading support coming soon.
Downloading media with Torch Browser
Torch is a web browser based on Chromium and specifically designed for hoarders. It is a commercial freeware with a built-in tool for grabbing online media and also has a BitTorrent client.
Grab online media
With Torch browser, you can grab and download any audio and video with a single click. When you play any audio or video online on Torch, there is a media grabber tool integrated on the browser that gets active and you can download the media by simply clicking on that tool.
Torrent on Torch
Torch browser also has a built-in torrent manager using which you can download any torrent files. Simply turn-on the Torrent icon on your Torch browser and you are good to go.
Downloading Portable Document Format (PDF) books
Depending on your internet browser and settings, PDF files are usually automatically downloaded when you open them on the web. Or, you will probably get a pop-up for saving the PDF file. However, if you don’t, downloading any PDF is easy. Once you open the document move your mouse cursor to the top of the document or press the Alt key to reveal the toolbar above the document. On the toolbar, you will see the download icon.
Download free book PDFs
Unless a particular book is made available for free by the original publishers or the author itself, downloading paid books for free is actually not legal. With that in mind, however, if there is a free book you want to download, here is an interesting trick on Google that you can try out.
On the Google search, type out “intitle:index.of pdf” followed by the name of the book you are looking for. Using this hack you can easily find your books avoiding the hassle of going through different websites and looking for them.
Another interesting trick you can try is by using the Google Advanced Search. To do this, simply go to settings on Google, then ‘Advanced Search’. Type out the name of the book you are looking for and change the file type to PDF. then select ‘Advanced Search’ and your book should magically appear on the first search result.
Bulk downloading is very handy when you need to download multiple files from the internet. Here are some of the best websites and software that you can use to manage and organize your downloads all at once instead of having to do them one by one –
Download an entire YouTube playlist in one go
Downloading an entire playlist from YouTube can be a pain if you don’t know how to do it right. Say you are trying to download a particular step-by-step workshop from YouTube that has over 15 videos. So instead of downloading each one of them individually, you can try out Youtube Multi Downloader Online that allows you to organize and download an entire playlist all at once. But first, in order for this to work, you need to have an Internet Download Manager or similar software already installed on your computer. If you do, to start downloading, simply play the YouTube playlist, copy the URL and paste it on the website. This will automatically list out all the different videos and generate a code. Select all (Ctrl+A) the code, copy to clipboard and on your IDM, go to Task > Add batch download from Clipboard.
Or you could try 4K Video downloader. Using this free software you can download any high-quality videos, an entire playlist (upto 25 videos at a time in the free version), or even extract audios and subtitles from YouTube.
Software bulk downloading
Use Ninite for Windows applications
Ninite.com is a ‘package management system offering’ that lets you download popular windows applications in a bulk and automatically install them for you. This site is very useful for installing fresh software on a new/refreshed computer. All of the freeware are safe and always up to date.
Ninite also offers few developer tools, security software, utilities etc.
Use FlashGet for files
Specifically designed for Windows, FlashGet is a free download managing software that can organize and bulk download any software, movies, music and even games from the internet. It supports different files as well as torrents. It uses MHT (Multi-server Hyper-Threading transportation) and splits your files for faster downloads. There are several ways on how you can initiate your downloads. The simplest method is by drag-dropping any content URL to the application. For downloading images or other types of files, hold both the Ctrl and Alt key down and click on the content you want to download. FlashGet will automatically get the link to anything that is clicked.
Bulk image downloading
Use Bulkr for Flickr
Bulkr is a lightweight Windows software using which you can any download any number of images from Flickr. Bulkr provides you ‘Search options’ using which you can search/sort for interesting, relevant or Recent results. You can even search for photos from individual user profiles or groups and even filter images by dates.
When saving the image, you get four different formats namely, small, medium, large or original. And you can even add the metadata of the online image, for example, the title, tags, description and geotags.
This could be a very useful feature if you are looking for entire albums from Flickr related to a specific topic
Use Bulk Image Downloader
Bulk Image Downloader is one of the best image downloading software that can automatically detect, download and save images and videos from web galleries. Simply open any image gallery, copy the link and paste it in the software. It will automatically queue up all the images and you can easily select whether to download the entire gallery or select particular images. Using these tools, and everything mentioned in these tips, you should be able to download almost anything you need from the internet.
Downloading entire album/data from Facebook
If you are looking for a way to download entire photo albums and videos from Facebook, there is an interesting way you can do that. This method will not only download your photos and videos but your entire Facebook data. You can do it by going over to your Facebook settings > General > Download a copy. Follow the instructions and you will get a copy of your entire Facebook archive.
This article was first published in the February 2017 issue of Digit magazine. To read Digit’s articles first, subscribe here or download the Digit app for Android and iOS. You could also buy Digit’s previous issues here.